12 Most Common Questions Answered About Working Out Abs

I see the same questions come through week after week about how to get very flat or really awesome six-pack abs.

dreaming of a six pack

Abs Q & A

This page is where I’ve put together the most frequently asked and most common questions with the corresponding answers.flat tummy

If you have a question that does not appear on this page, you can ask it below in the comment section.

It will get answered in the comment area and added to this page if I see the same question keeps getting asked.

How do I  warm up before my ab workout?

Warming up is very important and not just for abdominal exercises. The reason for this is simply to prevent injury.

If you are doing your abs routine mid-way through a workout, your muscles are already warmed up. But if you are just doing core exercises or starting off with them,  it’s very important to warm up the muscles to avoid injuries.

You should take a minimum of  5 minutes to warm-up and this does NOT mean stretching.  See more about that further down this page. Get your blood flowing by walking then doing a light jog.

You can also do some arm circles, hip circles, squats and shoulder rotations.

When should I do stretching – before, during or after my workout?

Stretching might actually hurt your workout performance more than helping it. Research shows that static stretches are a great way to cool down after a training session, so it is useful to do them post-exercise.

Don’t stretch while working it out— this is NOT a good practice.

How can I get the most out of my abs workouts?

Three-word answer : Form, Intensity & Variation.

The most important thing is to perform and execute the movements by maintaining proper form.  If you are a complete beginner, it is critical to learn how to do the different motions correctly.

Next is intensity.  You’ve got to shock the system with a high level of stimulus to keep your muscles responding. One way you can add more intensity to your ab workout is by not taking more than a 5-second break between exercises.

This will cause your ab muscles to work that much harder as you progress through the session.   Also, you need to complete enough repetitions and sets that challenge your fitness level.

Variation!  If you just do crunches, you will not have great abs.

You need to hit all the different areas of your core and change things up to surprise your muscles (so to speak).  Find about 15 different exercises – 5 for each section of your core –  and change them around so

Find about 15 different exercises – 5 for each section of your core –  and change them around so you are not doing all the exact same exercises during each workout.

How do I know if my abs workout routine is actually working?

The day after your workout you should feel some aching  that indicates you worked those muscles. But this does not always mean you will have flatter tummy or six pack abs right away.

You will still need to lose any fat that is covering up your core muscles.

Something else to keep in mind is that you need to hit your entire  core.  Just working one area, like the upper abdominis, will not give you the look the fitness models achieve.

Also, place attention on your obliques and lower back.  A truly complete core training routine is what you need to get the most desirable  results.  To learn more about all the ab muscles, click here.

How much or how long should I train my abs?

Let me once again place emphasis  on proper form.  A  quality workout will bring you better results  than quantity.

First things first – what’s the condition of your midsection now? The time you need to spend on specific ab routines depends on that aspect.

If your abs are covered with a lot of fat,  you will have to spend more time with cardio training and adjusting what you eat before you’ll ever see your abs muscles. Focus on fat loss first with an overall workout routine. Learn more about fat loss here:

Learn more about fat loss here: Fastest Natural Way to Lose Belly Fat

But if you have very little fat and you are focused on improving the look and strength, you can start with 5 minutes and work up to 20 minutes – depending on your strength level.

How many abs exercises should I do per a workout?

The best results will come from proper training of all areas of your core.  So you should have a routine that includes 3-5 different exercises per workout and a total of 15 different moves so that you can keep mixing then up and changing your workouts.

So you should have a routine that includes 3-5 different exercises per workout and a total of 15 different moves so that you can keep mixing then up and changing your workouts.

Start off by doing  3-5 sets of each exercise  and from 10-30 reps for each set.  This will vary by the difficulty of the actual move and your fitness level.

How many times per week should I exercise my abs?

Just like any other muscles, your abs require a rest period after a focused and intensive workout.  Go with  3 times per week with 1 to 2 days of rest in between.  You will get secondary ab work from performing other exercises and engaging your core on your non-ab exercise days.

Is doing a targeted  ab workout even necessary?

This really depends upon what other types of exercises you are doing.  If you are not doing a lot of compound exercises or following a program like Insanity or P90x.

I would suggest you should most definitely do targeted abdominal moves to work your core.  But remember, to see those muscles you will have to get rid of the fat which is hiding it by also including some cardio and modifying your diet & nutrition.

When is the best time to workout my abs?

The best time is after your general workout, but you can also do your abs exercises on a day when you are just doing some cardio.  Once you are done with your treadmill run or cycling, do the abs workout right after and then finish with some stretching to cool down.

How many calories are burned with core workouts?

This largely depends on what type of abs exercises you are doing.  A big misconception held by many exercise newbies is that they think they will lose belly fat if they train their abs like crazy.

This is simply not the case.

Regular abdominal exercises like planks or crunches, do not burn many calories or fat.

You need to burn calories by doing 20- 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio.  You can also burn more with weight training large muscle groups.  Added muscle mass burns fat way more than cardio.

And don’t forget to modify what and how you eat to lose fat.

You might also consider trying a high-quality fat burner supplement.  See Clenbutrol, the super strength fat burner by clicking here

Do I need to change up my workout routine or can I do the same abs exercises for a long time?

Change it up!  As I said earlier on this page, you need to have about 15 different exercises in total to rotate and switch around for quicker and better results.

So for example, if you have a machine like an ab coaster or abs bench include another 2 abs exercises to perform after using your machine and switch those around each week.

How soon will I see the results actually showing on my abs?

Ahhh – this is the million dollar question!

That will DEPEND… on your body type, your eating habits, how often and how intensively you train, and your overall lifestyle.

But here are some facts to help you figure out what it will take for you.  In order to really see your abs, your body fat must be low. Target around 7-8% for men and 16-18% for women.

So here’s an example:

If right now your body fat is 19%, you’d need to drop down by 11% if you are a male.  Assume a rate of  0.5% fat loss per week with proper diet, abs exercises, and an overall fitness routine.

In this case, you will take about  20 weeks to see your abs.  To determine  your body fat, go here to use the calculator on About.com Body Fat Calculator.

Keep in mind this is just a guide and not a scientifically proven method.

Because there are so many factors and variables,  you may achieve flat abs sooner or later.

But get a plan, stick with it and don’t give up!